Is it Time to Say Sorry?
Written by Danielle
The 3rd of December, 2022. For many New Zealanders this date will come
and go. It will trigger nothing. The significance of this date and the one-year
anniversary that it commemorates will only be important to a minority of Kiwis.
The 3rd of December, 2021 was the day when many lives were changed and
the team of 5 million became split. It was on this day that the covid response
traffic light system and jab passports were introduced. With them, the
unjabbed became something to be feared and vilified.
Reading through Facebook posts from a year ago reveals just how fearful
many of the jabbed population were. Fear fuelled by the media and
government made once compassionate and kind Kiwis turn on their friends,
family and anyone else who wasn’t jabbed.
There have been recent demands internationally for an ‘amnesty’. A call for
forgiveness to those in power who mandated the jab and encouraged
discrimination. The justification for the amnesty? That they didn’t know. That
they were flying blind.
This might be true of countries in other parts of the world who experienced the
pandemic before New Zealand. But we had the benefit of their experience to
go by. We could look at the most highly jabbed populations on the planet and
see that things weren’t going well and, in some cases, there was even
There’s not a lot that I can do about those big players, the leaders that
should’ve known better. But there is something that I can do on a more
personal level, and that is to ask you the following:
Can you look back over the last year and say that you treated your fellow
humans with respect? Or did you get lulled into the narrative that convinced
most people that the unjabbed were dangerous and deserved all that they
Did you at any stage begin to feel uncomfortable at how the unjabbed were
being treated? Especially as you noticed so many of your jabbed friends and
family succumbing to the virus. Did you say, “well at least we didn’t get it
really bad”. What happened to that story when you realised that the unjabbed
people in your life didn’t get it that bad either?
Did you laugh at the protestors who demanded an end to the mandates? Did
you agree that they were just a bunch of conspiracy theorists who deserved to
be handled with unprecedented levels of violence?
When people experienced adverse reactions, did you justify the damage done
to their health as necessary collateral damage to protect the team? Did you
even know that some people’s health was being severely compromised when
they did what was necessary to keep their jobs, or to continue their studies?
In your job did you refuse to serve customers or cut someone’s hair or make
them a coffee? Did you coerce a staff member into receiving the jab against
In your personal life did you stand by and allow a family member to be banned
from Christmas celebrations or a wedding, funeral, or other family
gathering? Did you demand that an unjabbed person take a test before
allowing them into your home? Or did you just not let unjabbled people into
your home? Did you laugh at your friend who believed in natural
immunity? Did you feel comfortable that so many people lost jobs, homes,
businesses, or relationships with friends or family? Did you justify not helping
a neighbour because of their status?
To those of you who are feeling uncomfortable with what happened, to those
of you that may feel a stirring of guilt about how you treated another
human, to you I say, it’s not too late to apologise. You don’t have to admit
you were wrong. We get it. You feared for yourself. You feared for your
elderly parents, or your young children, or for the immune compromised
people in your life. We understand fear.
The 3rd of December 2022 is an opportunity to start to repair the damage. To
acknowledge that things could have been done differently. In inviting your
apology, it’s important to say that we don’t need it. It would be nice to have,
but we don’t need it to move on.
Over the last year many of us have become stronger, more resilient and have
forged many fulfilling bonds. We have learned much about ourselves and
have moved on in many ways. An apology, though, is an opportunity to help
everyone make peace with the events of the last few years. The world needs
more peace and it can start with you.